We are reporting on a recent experience with Health Informatics (HI) teaching at undergraduate degree level to an audience of HI and Pharmacy students. The important insight is that effective teaching of clinical informatics must involve highly interactive, applied components in addition to the traditional theoretical material. This is in agreement with general literature underlining the importance of simulations and role playing in teaching and is well supported by our student evaluation results. However, the viability and sustainability of such approaches to teaching hinges on significant course preparation efforts. These efforts consist of time-consuming investigations of informatics technologies, applications and systems followed by the implementation of workable solutions to a wide range of technical problems. In effect, this approach to course development is an involved process that relies on a special form of applied research whose technical complexity could explain the dearth of published reports on similar approaches in HI education. Despite its difficulties, we argue that this approach can be used to set a baseline for clinical informatics training at undergraduate level and that its implications for HI education in Canada are of importance.
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